Derrexi Tzelan, eldest daughter of one of Solerne's top Noble Houses, arrives to the city of Beldatz under orders from the Empress. Her mission, as she is aware of it, is to train a detachment of Hawk Maidens, an elite female warrior order, from the local girls in preparation for the Festival of New Dawn. What she does not know is that she is to be the wildcard in the struggle between the city's political and supernatural factions, a conflict that unbeknownst to its players, has a deep relationship to the spiritual well-being of the Empire. Derrexi will find many allies and foes, both hidden and in plain view, as she strives to understand herself and the nature of the gods of Nahast and their eternal war.
Personal quests, epic destinies, and ancient secrets come together as ordinary people are thrust into extraordinary circumstances.
You can browse the story scene by scene in the Archives page!
I'm a writer at heart and after a long line of jobs in different industries in different capacities, the best description for my trade would be "content developer".
Born and raied in Mexico, I live in Mexico City, affectionately called "Mexichaos City", "Smogico City" or "Federal Detritus", depending on your experience. I spent most of my childhood in the northern state of Chihuahua, which borders the U.S., so speaking English was a bit of a necessity for those holiday shopping trips across the border. I learned the language through a combination of formal classes and informal practice as my father brought home untranslated movies taped from a friend's satellite dish and I consumed American books and magazines on my favorite topics: fantasy and science fiction, which at the time had very scarse offerings in Spanish.
During that time, I discovered a neat little thing called Dungeos & Dragons, which caught my attention, my time and my imagination, and marked my life as I became a full-blown role-player, one of the first in my country, I imagine.
One of the best jobs I've ever had was as a staff writer for roleplaying games publisher Mongoose Publishing in 2002, but left on 2004 to pursue a career as a freelancer, while looking for stable income. So, whether I work as an ISP ad copy writer, interface designer, journalist, magazine editor, proofreader and currently a translator, I've always devoted some time to RPG writing, having written for companies like White Wolf, Green Ronin, Fantasy Flight Games, and the defunct Guardians of Order.
I started drawing as a hobby since I had very little access to fantasy illustrations and hungered for visual input for the books I managed to read... which were not easy to find either, as I lived in a very small city as a child, with only two good bookstores. I started trying to copy Larry Elmore from his illustrations in my D&D books, but then I discovered the Conan comics, which were luckily published in a translated and actually affordable version by a Mexican publisher. Now, Mexico, having no local animation industry, imported all animated programming from abroad, and I was exposed to anime from very early on, although I did not realize how good it could be until I met true anime fans in college, which exposed me to shows that would never arrive to Western shores until much later (and I still would have to import the VHS tapes and later DVDs from the U.S.). And when I stumbled on the works of Masamune Shirow, my fate was sealed and anime became another big influence on my artistic style.
The only actual art class I ever took was one course in college, because I had schedule to spare on my last semester and a kick-ass scholarship, so I could take the Architecture course on basic drawing (my major is in Communications Sciences). I did take scriptwriting and film classes, so that contributed significatively on my arrival to doing a comic.
Likes: the fantastic genre, from fantasy to horror and science fiction. Animation from all around the world, although the japanese are the best at it. The usual: comics, music, videogames... but I also love a good anthropological study and The Discovery Channel is amongst the only things I see when I turn the TV. I hardly turn down a religious or political debate. Yes; I'm a geek :)
Personal: I'm Aries in the greek horoscope, Ox in the Chinese and Crocodile (or Reed, depends on who you read) in the Aztec; I come from a well-adjusted family of weirdos and I'm in a relationship with a combat pilot... all other details you'll have to guess.
While I'm normally insanely busy, I try to always answer mail, so feel free to contact me at nahast AT coyotzin DOT net,
Nahast has been around for a while, so it has garnered some reviews even if it hasn't been a huge and widespread hit. Here's what other people have to say about Nahast:
If you know of any site that might want to take a look at Nahast, feel free to suggest! I welcome criticism as much as I welcome praise ;)
Nahast began as a very simple thing and has been growing, at least in my mind.
I didn't come up with Nahast on my own at first. Originally, it was to be my and my friends' entry into a WIzard of the Coast's contest to find the great next D&D background setting (the winner ultimately was Eberron). We came up with the basic origin myth, the general flavor and things we wanted to see. As part of the necessary "home city" that adventurers usually start at, we came up with Beldatz, where the comic happens. I was in charge of populating the city with interesting NPCs, and thus were born the Hawk Maidens first, and then their mistress, Derrexi Tzelan. As I wrote down the background I decided this would make a good story on its own, and after we were notified that our setting was not amongst the finalists, I took the story and came up with the idea to create it as a webcomic.
The role-playing origins of Nahast were never lost, though, as there have always been plans to write the setting for release, possibly for sale. I actually wrote half of the book already: the classes and new powers and other rules aspects, but then D&D 4th Edition was announced, and now the game is being re-written and refocused.
As stories bubbled in my head, Nahast has created an offspring: Chronicles of the 5th Age, a prose fiction site that is narrating many of the hundred stories that the world of Nahast can accomodate.
The comic has been around since 2002, and in 2008 it took a new turn as I was invited to join SpiderForest, which prompted a redesign and realignment of the plans for Nahast, and that is the site that you're reading right now.
Welcome and enjoy; my feverish imagination will not stop coming up with stories and ideas, so however slow the pace, Nahast will keep growing and advancing, hopefully with your support.
Art and story © 2002-2010 Alejandro Melchor.
Nahast Campaign Setting and Product Identity © 2002-2010 Alejandro Melchor
Part of the SpiderForest community.
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